The Hancock family's Claiborne Farm has become the signature sponsor of Keeneland's Breeders' Futurity (gr. I), to be held Saturday, Oct. 4.
The purse for the Claiborne Breeders' Futurity will increase from $400,000 to $500,000 in 2014. The stakes, for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles, is part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series in which the winner automatically qualifies for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park.
"We are excited to partner with Keeneland for the grade I Claiborne Breeders' Futurity," said Claiborne President Walker Hancock. "This race is entrenched deep in Claiborne's history as we have owned or co-owned the winner of the race five times. We look forward to the Claiborne Breeders' Futurity becoming the marquee prep race for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile."
Keeneland will celebrate the 101th running of the Breeders' Futurity this fall. The race was inaugurated at the Kentucky Association track in 1910 then run in 1931-1933 at Latonia after the Kentucky Association track closed. The race was not run in 1934-1937.
Johnstown and Whirlaway won the first and third editions of the Breeders' Futurity in 1938 and 1940, respectively, after Keeneland revived the race. Both horses went on to win the Kentucky Derby as 3-year-olds. Among the other champions to capture the Breeders' Futurity are Tasso (1985), Boston Harbor (1996), and Favorite Trick (1997). All three followed their Breeders' Futurity wins with victories in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
Claiborne has recorded more wins in the Breeders' Futurity than any other owner, with Horse of the Year Round Table (1956), Duel (1963), Dike (1968), champion Swale (1983), and champion Forty Niner (1987).
"The story of Keeneland and the Breeders' Futurity is intertwined with Claiborne," said Keeneland president Bill Thomason. "It is so fitting that they be associated with the Breeders' Futurity given the Claiborne champions who have graced its history."